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World Bank Group Helps Modernize Sales Tax System in Pakistan


In Cairo
Riham Mustafa,
Phone: +(202) 2461-4230,
E-mail: rmustafa@ifc.org


Lahore, Pakistan, October 29, 2014—The World Bank Group has launched a project to help simplify the administration of sales tax in Pakistan’s Punjab province, part of a wider effort to stoke economic growth across the country.

The project will help the Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA) develop and implement a business-friendly tax system for services, removing the bottlenecks investors and businesses face when complying with tax regulations.  

''Our partnership with IFC will help us establish several milestones on the path of good governance in Punjab,'' says Iftikhar Qutab, Chairman of the PRA.

Businesses in Punjab spend an average of 48 days per year to comply with tax regulations, adding considerably to compliance costs. The new system will reduce compliance time, encourage businesses to join the formal sector, and widen the tax base.

“Reforming tax regulations is an important part of efforts to create a more business-friendly environment,” says Andrei Mikhnev, IFC’s Practice Manager for Trade and Competitiveness in the Middle East and North Africa. “Transparent and efficient tax regulations should boost investor confidence and increase compliance rates.”

The project will also help the PRA develop the legal and regulatory framework needed to govern the newly simplified processes. It will also assist the authority in conducting an assessment of its training needs and capacity building programs.

The project is part of a wider effort by the World Bank Group to support Pakistan’s economic growth at the federal and provincial levels by creating a better climate for investments and private sector growth.

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.